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Saturday, June 4

My Frugal Miser - May 2022 Expenses

May was another expensive month.  Hopefully soon all this red ink will dry.

  • I spent nearly $2,000 on car repairs. The starter and a couple related parts needed replacement - occassionally the car just wouldn't start.  And a flying retreaded tire from a truck cracked one of the headlights.  Another electrical issue also needed repair.
  • I lost a lawsuit to a con artist in Birmingham (see the May income post, where I list expenses associated with my rental properies).  The judge ignored case law and the simple fact that the lawsuit was entirely predicated on fraud by the plaintiff.  I wanted to appeal the verdict, but the cost of fighting this injustice was greater than the amount the fraudster was awarded.
  • Another expense that doesn't show up here (again, it's on the income post) but was substantial was the $1,200 I paid a contractor to make a few repairs at the Airbnb.  If all goes as planned, I will sell it in June.
Fortunately I received per diems from meeting jobs that exceeded my out of pocket expenses.  This helped offset some of my spending.

Fun

We love adventures.  Spending on experiences makes us better humans.  
  • I splurged on two excursions during our Alaskan cruise.  In Juneau we toured a real gold mine - I love history.  In Ketchikan we did our first zipline.

May Expenses:  $3,624

$2,018 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$0 Bank Fees (annual fees on credit cards)
$57 Clothing/ Personal Care
$546 Fun (vacations, movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$150 Food
$31 Health and Dental
$1,050 Household/Home Repairs
$0 Unreimbursed Job Expense
($756) Reimbursed Job Expense (income)
$0 Interest Expense
$154 Miscellaneous
$191 Taxes
$184 Utilities 

Thursday, June 2

My Frugal Miser - May 2022 Income

 May was a solid month for income.  

I worked 4 meetings jobs, including long assignments in Newport Beach, CA and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  I was only paid half my fee for those last two jobs; the other half will be paid out in June.

I did 1 Amazon route.

The Airbnb was blocked several days because I am selling it.  I took it offline for 11 days so that my agent could open it to showings and inspections and again for 3 days so that the buyer could spend a night in it and have additional inspections completed.  I thought it was pretty cool to let the buyer use the home for a night, sort of like test driving a car.  Airbnb expenses were higher than normal as I prepared the home for sale.

Rental income was stronger than normal. I received rent from the 3 properties I own in Alabama, plus distributions from 4 investments held at Realty Mogul.  Rental expenses were high:  I lost an $1,100 lawsuit against a fraudster who rents the condo next to mine.  It was 100% fraud, but I learned the difficult and frustrating lesson that sometimes it costs more to fight the fraud than it does to just make it go away.  Additionally, I paid $300 to have my largest property pressure washed.  I am almost 100% committed to selling that house in July and may have a few other maintenance/repair expenses leading up to it.

May Income: $13,886

$0 Mystery Shopping/ Merchandising
$5,512 Meeting Jobs
$0 Gig Apps (Rideshare, Food Deliveries, etc.)
$119 Amazon Deliveries
$5,310 Rental Income (Rental Expenses:  $2,164)
$2,757 Airbnb Income (Airbnb Expenses:  $2,125)
$8 Interest Income
$179 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  $2,453

My investments were up slightly in May.

Friday, May 6

My Frugal Miser - April 2022 Expenses

When it rains, it pours.

April was the most expensive month in a very long time.  The biggest culprit was the payment I made to the U.S. Treasury.  In 2021 I had substantial long-term capital gains, and my ignorance about tax rules got the best of me.  Somehow I thought the gain I had on Vereit stock would be taxable at the 0% long-term capital gains rate.  Boy was I wrong.  In addition to the 2021 tax bill, I need to make quarterly payments in 2022, so I did that in April for the first quarter. 

  • I paid 6 months auto insurance.  Gas prices are still over $4/gallon but that was only a small part of my auto expense. 
  • Food was low because of all the meetings I worked where I was provided food.

Fun

We love adventures.  Spending on experiences makes us better humans.  

  • This is really embarrassing.  I booked a last minute cruise out of Miami.  I only spent one afternoon in the casino, but I drank too much and honestly have no idea how I lost.  Seriously, it's like I blacked out.  I remember being ahead by a few hundred dollars, and then I lost it all.  After this episode I stayed away from the casino.

April Expenses:  $32,175

$890 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$0 Bank Fees (annual fees on credit cards)
$0 Clothing/ Personal Care
$7,370 Fun (vacations, movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$171 Food
$31 Health and Dental
$1,050 Household/Home Repairs
$131 Unreimbursed Job Expense
$319 Reimbursed Job Expense
$0 Interest Expense
$0 Miscellaneous
$22,021 Taxes
$192 Utilities 

Tuesday, May 3

My Frugal Miser - April 2022 Income

April's income was down a bit but I still managed to keep it over $10K.

I worked 5 meetings jobs, but have only been paid for 3.  One of the 3 was a single day gig.  

I did 5 Amazon routes.

The Airbnb was booked every day except four days I blocked from the calendar.  I listed the BNB for sale this week and the four blocked days were used by a handyman who made a few repairs and improvements.

Rental income came in as expected.  I am down to just three rental properties, all in Alabama.  I also received a distribution from Realty Mogul.

April Income: $10,564

$0 Mystery Shopping/ Merchandising
$2,875 Meeting Jobs
$24 Gig Apps (Rideshare, Food Deliveries, etc.)
$574 Amazon Deliveries
$3,994 Rental Income (Rental Expenses:  $706)
$3,041 Airbnb Income (Airbnb Expenses:  $1,711)
$8 Interest Income
$47 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  ($14,993)

April was a bad month for stocks.  My investments were down, but continue to outperform the S&P 500.